Happy Macaron Day !

Talk about spring being in the air!  The sun has been shining here in Zürich and people are enjoying the longer days, being outside as much as possible.  The Alps in the distance seem to have lost their large, white blankets and those people on the streets are losing their layers too… fast.  I am not sure whether I will be more excited that it’s the first day of spring… or that it’s “le Jour du Macaron” in just a few days.  A day to honor the macaron, that delectable, colorful pastry that has become cult famous and fashionable in Paris and around the world.

Eric Baumann, Zürich, SwitzerlandEric Baumann, Zürich, Switzerland

Jour du MacaronIf you’re lucky enough to be in Paris this Thursday, then here is yet another reason to swing by one of Pierre Hermé’s 4 shops.  2006 was the first year he declared March 20th to be the day of the Macaron, offering apparently free macaron tastings to all.  (I can only imagine the lines!)  Someone please go there and tell me this is true! I know where I’ll be on March 20, 2010! He has a magnificently colorful limited edition box of 24 macarons, each a different flavor from the past 10 years. Most important is a red macaron being sold for 1 Euro, that will raise money for la Fédération des Maladies Orphelines (an organization dedicated to treating rare diseases).

Eric Baumann, Zürich, Switzerland

Relais Desserts, bringing together the world’s finest pastry chefs and chocolatiers in the world, of which Hermé is a member, proudly celebrates le Jour du Macaron.  We celebrated our own Macaron Day here in Zürich at the shop of one of the Relais Desserts members, Eric Baumann.  Zürich + macaron usually equals Luxemburgerli at Sprungli.  These are tiny macaron-like confections, but for me they’re not the same.  I think Baumann’s macarons are the closest to a Parisian equivalent you’ll get around here.  If anyone knows of somewhere else, please share.  I know there is a Ladurée in Geneva, and I have considered the 2.5 hour train ride just for that.  But I digress…

Eric Baumann, Zürich, Switzerland

Eric Baumann, Zürich, SwitzerlandWith le Jour du Macaron almost upon us, it was a perfect opportunity to taste Baumann’s macarons.  Personally, I found them a bit more cake-like than what I am used to, and really not comparable to Ladurée or Pierre Hermé.  As for my most highly qualified and esteemed taste tester (also known as my husband), he felt that they were certainly less refined and delicate than my precious macarons from Ladurée.

Now, said tester did not dislike Baumann’s macarons – he found them more harmonious in taste in fact, appreciating having just one flavor and texture, not many complex flavors jumping out at you, with different discoveries along the way.  As he described his reaction to the chocolate macaron, searching for words… I can sum up his whole train of thought in one word: a brownie.  There’s nothing wrong with brownies, but in my humble opinion, there is if it’s supposed to be a macaron.

Eric Baumann, Zürich, SwitzerlandEric Baumann, Zürich, Switzerland

Happy Macaron Day to all!  I hope you will be able to enjoy a macaron (or two), wherever your travels take you… to Paris here or there, to Zürich, New York . . . or maybe just to your kitchen to try your hand at making them yourself.  Have fun!

Confiserie Baumann
Balgriststrasse 2
8008 Zürich
Switzerland
+41.44.382.11.21
www.confiserie-baumann.ch

19 Responses to “Happy Macaron Day !”

  1. Shaun says:

    Isnt it amazing how much better life seems to be with spring on its way, work is tolerable, life is ok, and I now have the strength to avoid the Macrons, since the comfort is no longer required. Ironic because now it can be justified due to the ability to exercise….

  2. Sam says:

    Those Macaron’s really get me… They are so pretty and delicious! I am so super shocked you will not be in Paris for Macaron day. I would totally meet you there next year!

    xoxox

  3. FN says:

    I am pretty sure my girl would dump me in exchange for free macarons. I have a theory that women like macarons way more than men. I don’t know one guy who loves these the way women do.

    Any guys out there dying to have a macaron?

  4. Lani says:

    Every time I go to Paris the one place to go even if I am on a diet is Laduree. The windows are usually filled with boxes of macarons. You have given me the visual I need to get through Macaron day here in NY. The colors….the texture….just pop right out of the computer….but no calories….love it…

  5. Jessica says:

    These photos are great – but I will say I felt like I waited forever for them to upload. I think it must be an internal thing here at work. hehehe 🙂

    I am not a huge fan of eating Macaroons, but I love how pretty they are and how they are so fragile and delicate. I would love the kit shown in the photos to eat some new kinds!

    Ps. I saw you on Expatica. That is great! Welcome to the club of blogs that gets syndicated on Expatica… 🙂

  6. Brian says:

    Thank you so much for your blog entry. I visited Confiserie Baumann yesterday and tried each type of Macaron, fell in love with them and bought 50 pieces for friends, family and colleagues at work. Fantastic… brownie-like and “maschtig” as we say in Switzerland. I like them much more than the Luxemburgerlis you can buy at Sprüngli. Go visit them.

    The Confiserie also has some really well-trained, experienced staff on hand to talk to connoisseurs. Currently, they are selling mandarin-flavoured Macarons and a book containing about 80-100 “simple” recipes from many Relais Dessert chefs.

  7. MsGourmet says:

    We are saying ‘hello’ to autumn here in Australia after a very long, hot summer! Your photos and macarons look delightful!

  8. Kerrin says:

    Ok Sam, you’ve got yourself a date for macarons in 2010! Can’t wait already!

    FN, let’s just hope your girlfriend can get free macarons and still stay with you! Never thought about men vs. women in respect to macarons. Any men want to chime in on the topic?? Please do.

    That said, Brian just commented about discovering the pastry shop here in Zürich and loving them,… and buying 50 on the spot! Wow! Brian, your friends, family and colleagues are very lucky people! The mandarin macaron you mentioned is the one in the very last photo above. I saw the book there as well, looked great. Might have to go back and get it, if not just to make Baumann’s chocolate-filled donut. I have a smaller Relais Dessert book, which is also in the photos above.

    Shaun, ah yes spring is definitely in the air. Another beautiful day here in Zürich. Hope everyone is enjoying the good weather wherever that may be – in NY for Lani or in Australia for MsGourmet! 🙂

  9. andrea says:

    I had no idea there was a National Mararon Day! Leave it to the French to celebrate food in such a way. I love the ones in CH….do they get better than that?

  10. josephine says:

    i just discovered your blog, and absolutely love it! i didn’t know there was a macaron day. i shall have one (but most likely more) to celebrate 🙂

  11. Shaun says:

    Ok… so from home I can see the pics… takes a little long to download but well worth it!

  12. tina says:

    hey, just so you know, one of your competitors in that lonely planet blog contest is cheating. tacogirl is soliciting votes from a basketball forum and running her totals up… this is the post where asks for votes:

    http://www.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=891571

  13. jen laceda says:

    i love macarons !!! guess what, my daughter will have her first taste of these delicious morsels in May! we are on a pilgrimage to macaron mecca in Paris, and would not dream of skipping Laduree nor Pierre Herme.

  14. Steve says:

    Sorry FN, not even close. I LOVE macarons, every one of them (except coffee – I hate coffee anything). And so do all the guys I know who have had them. I love them as much if not more than my wife. Almost as much as my daughter, well, maybe not “almost.” My question is – how could you NOT love them? Keep feeding your girl macarons, and you’ll likely avoid being dumped. Start eating and enjoying more of them, and she may just love you more. Good luck.

  15. FN says:

    Ok, so I let a little time elapse and the final count in the comments is:

    Guys: me against, Steve and Bryan for. That nets out to 1 dude.

    Ladies: all the rest of the comments…….

    Case closed.

  16. Steve says:

    Yeah, but FN, this dude REALLY loves his macarons. That’s got to count for more than 1 vote.

  17. Julia says:

    Hello, I love your blog. I am a little obsessed with the macaron. I was dreaming of eating my macaron fill on March 20, too. Being a LONG way away from Paris to pick up my free 4 from PH, I have been trying to conquer the recipe myself. Still a long way off from the delicious sensations I tasted in Paris, but fun to practise all the same. Thank you for sharing your stories. Food + travel. My favourite, too!

  18. Scribetrotter says:

    And then there’s Laduree in Lausanne, which is a tiny bit closer…

    Or I could go get you a box in Geneva! 🙂

  19. Kerrin says:

    Oooooh, Scribetrotter – I am definitely on the wrong side of Switzerland !! How come Ladurée has not yet made its way to Swiss German territory ?! 😉 Meanwhile, I knew about the Geneva shop, but not about Lausanne. Good to know for sure, thanks. Ladurée is certainly branching out – Paris, London, Switzerland… Monaco and Tokyo now too:
    http://www.laduree.fr/public_fr/maisons/maisons_accueil.htm

    Oh, and please do enjoy a salted butter caramel macaron at Ladurée Genève for me, ok? Merci !

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